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Tributes to Patti Summers

Patty Summers was my mother and will be sorely missed. She was very active in helping the mentally retarded members of our society. Even on her free time helping those in need always came first. She was investigating the deaths at Pennhurst, and found a lot of infants and children who were just thrown away, buried like they never meant anything. My mom was always teaching us to respect all living beings no matter what their background and what their appearances may have looked like. She had a great love for her family, especially her children and her granddaughter. I am proud of her for all she did in the mentally disabled community, and those she helped are greatly blessed to have had the joy of knowing Patti. I miss my mom very much, and I hope that her death will help others in some way of finding out a cure for cancer. She was a fighter till the end. My mother never gave up in anything she did in her short time on earth.

— Mom, we love you, and miss you, Keri, Mari, and Tricia


She was someone that we loved. She was a kind, humble person to all of us that came to know her very well.

— Richard Young


Patti will be sorely missed because of all that she did for self-advocates. She will be up with Roland Johnson up in heaven.

— Steve Dorsey


Patti – I will miss you. You were a good person. You were there for us. You helped others when they needed.

— Karen Hayes


Patti helped me out when I had problems. She helped me out of the institution, Pennhurst and all. She came to the institution and made them let me out of there. She will be sorely missed and she will be missed by everybody, especially her daughter.

— Betty Potts


Pat was very good to us. She helped us with the wedding. She arranged everything. Jerome was very close to her mother and the kids. It feels like she is not really gone but she is. We will miss her a lot.

— Carole and Jerome Iannuzzi


I remember Patti as one of the early spark plugs of Speaking For Ourselves. She worked hard in those early days when most professionals didn’t believe what the organization could do to help one another become more strong and courageous as citizens in their neighborhoods and counties. Her early actions have inspired the rest of us to truly believe in the power of self-advocacy.

— Bob Perske, noted author


I am sorry that Patti is no longer with us. It hurt me inside to hear that Patti is gone. I really cared about her.

— Larry Gallimore


Thank you Patti — for challenging me to do better, teaching me to be a better advocate, for being a loyal friend, telling me some funny stories, for sharing good times, and being a solid self-advocate supporter. This is how I remember you.

— Bill Worrell, Toronto, Canada


We all lost a fine person and friend.

— Nancy Thaler


Patti was a good woman. I am grateful that Patti was here.

— Charles Burkhouse


The Arc of Pennsylvania was fortunate to have had an advocate like Patti Summers. We extend our sympathy to those who have lost a mother, friend and colleague.

— Martie Worley, The ARC of Pennsylvania


I remember Patti in the early days of the Self-Advocacy movement. She was always there when needed, taught advocates how to do better for themselves, and taught us all how to give of ourselves unconditionally, as she did.

— Joan Warren